“We don’t eat at the Wayside no more.  I reckon you could say that me and Vester was two of their best customers for the past decade or so; but them days are long gone since they up and put one of them Condrum machines in the men’s side of the rest rooms.  I mean; why do they need that with this being a family restaurant and all?  Can’t you just imagine some little boy going in there and cramming a quarter in that machine and coming out in front of God and everbody; a’ blowing that thing up and all the time thinking that it’s a balloon.”   “I mean really!”.

“Why; the last time we et there, I ordered my usual hamburger steak smothered in onions and Vester got the meat loaf with mashed potatoes.  I drunk so much iced tea that I was pressed to go powder my nose, and just about the time I got to the door to the ladies side of the restroom, Lamar Threadgill went in the men’s side.  While I was doing my business I heard a quarter drop and then a click-click when the handle was turned.  I’m sure that Lamar had no idea that I could hear through that wall or else he would have waited ’til I was out before making his purchase.”

Vester had told me that Ed Poston, (owner of The Wayside) said that machine really took in the money, so I reckon that Lamar was not the only one in town who succumbed to temptation.  I just hope and pray that Vester’s got more sense than to waste money in that contraption.

“I had done set down at our booth when Lamar come out and he went right up to Dotty Sinclair,  (the head waitress) and whispered in her ear.  When Dotty’s shift was over, she just hung up her apron, pretty as you please, and marched out with Lamar and climbed in his pickup.  I most probably would think that Lamar was just offering Dotty a ride home if it had not been for that click-click.”

“Now I ain’t never been one to frown on a reasonable amount of “Hanky-Pankey;” between husband and wife, say once every two or three months; but I just can’t condone carryin’s on such like we witnessed the last time we et at the Wayside.  Thank goodness Vester ain’t never been one to “bother” me ever blessed night.

“When I mentioned it at the D.A.R. the next week, Pauline Asterholt liked to of had a fit.  She even went so far as to say that her and Waylon would start going to the First Baptist Church over in Sneedville:  What with “Ed” being Waylon’s Sunday school teacher at Piney Grove.  She sez, how can Ed Poston teach Sunday school and then put a Condrum machine in the bathroom at the Wayside.  We both agreed that it bordered on blasphemy.”

” Wellsir: Tto make matters worse; a week or so later I had to run in the Quick Stop to pick up a loaf of bread and some eggs, and who did I run into but Dotty Sinclair.  She walks right up to me just like the Queen of Shebe and sez,

“How you, Mabel?  I ain’t seen you and Vester over at the Wayside in a month of Sundays. Where y’all been eatin’?”

“Now I ain’t never been one to mince no words, ‘specially if I’m on the side of right, so I just let her have it right there in the express lane.  I sez, “Dotty, you can tell Ed Poston that genteel folks like Me and Vester ain’t about to patronize no place that makes its money off Condrum Machines even if Lamar Threadgill IS their best customer.”

“She’ll think twice the next time she decides to accost a member of the; D.A.R. AND the chairman of the Committee on Aging for the entire county.  After all, the way her and Lamar been carryin’ on is nothing short of scandalous.”

“Vester’s been after me to let him run down to the Wayside and get us a take-out order of meat loaf and mashed potatoes; but I couldn’t eat a bite of it knowing that Condrum Machine was still in there.”

“Mayhaps; I wouldn’t of known so much about it if Ed hadn’t been so cheap; and had put more than one piece of sheet rock between the men’s side and the ladies side.   That wall has always been so flimsy that I would wad up tissue and put it in the toilet bowl so as to muffle the sound.”  “Like I said; genteel folks; what has been raised right don’t go around advertising bodily functions.

“At any rate, we are through with the Wayside.  Vester’s getting kinda tired of them whoppers at the Burger King, but ’til they’s a decent place to eat put in somewhere close, he’ll just have to like it or lump it.”

“I hear that they’re fixing to build a Quincy’s down on Route 214.  I just hope to my Lord that they don’t put in one of them Condrum Machines in before we try it out.  They’s just so much a ‘Lady of Breedin’ can stand.”

Told by  –  Mabel :  (Written by Jay Henry)